There's nothing like the arrival of a Hollywood star to stir the passions of the people of Johnson, a sleepy small town in Ohio. During his stay with the Johnson's most physically appealing family, the star shakes up the lives of the reigning queen of the local theatre scene, her lawyer husband, and the couple's handsome, but sexually undecided son. Add a scandal at the husband's law firm and a kidnapping with suicide demanded as ransom and you have what propels family members to New York City and Hollywood and Gordon Osmond's debut novel to its shattering conclusion.
Let me start off by saying, there were so many characters that I hated with a passion, except for Erin O'Malley and Danton Brockway. I know hate is a strong word, but I seriously hated the other charcters with a passion. Let me tell you why. Eileen Brockway is a selfish, disrespectful, catty, haughty, vain, spiteful, albeit beautiful shrew. She's the stereotypical small town girl who dreamed of being the envy of every girl in town. She's married to the greatest guy in the world, Danton, but she's still not satisfied. Throughout the book, it felt to me that her marriage to Danton was more of an accomplishment than a relationship based on love and mutual respect. He's a good-looking guy with smarts. She dreamed of making it onto the big screen and had a master plan to achieve it all, but they were thwarted by her husband, unknowingly. Her reputation as the town's top drama queen and picture perfect family makes her the envy of town, but behind closed doors, she's an unhappy wannabe star with dreams of making it big with illusions of grandeur. She's also a schemer and looks down on the other actors like she's better than them. If she was, she would have gotten her big break years ago. >:( Thankfully, she does get her comeuppance at the end of the book.
The other female character was Inez, wife to Raul Fioravanti, attractive Italian partner in Dan's law firm. Following the death of their son, his wife became rigid, bitter, and unbearable. She had a few lines and scenes and by the end of each, I was even more disgusted by her than before. Granted, she did lose her son, but she and her husband did shun their son, David, for being gay and introducing them to Jason, his partner. To be fair, David did not gradually ease his parents into the idea of him being gay. Plenty of drama occurs in this plot line and I'm glad Raul found an appropriate happily ever after. I'm as feminist as the next blogger, but for the love of God! These women were so unhappy with their own lives that they cause misery to everyone around them.
Another character that I found completely unlikable was Adrian Conway, the so called famous Hollywood actor. To be totally honest, the man's out of his prime and suffers from the illusions that he still has an acting career. He's old news and yet he's still trying to rekindle some bit of fame. His presence in Johnson and the Brockway household stirs up scandal and drama. The fact that he had no problem having an affair with someone else's wife, coupled with his alcholism, just made not like him. Were he a real person, I would not be found within 100 feet of him,
The only characters I did like were Danton Brockway and Erin O'Malley. Dan has the patience of a saint and the smarts of a master manipulator. His reaction to his wife's extra-martial activities was too calm. I think it's the lawyer in him that wants to give his wife the benefit of the doubt. Despite his troubles at his firm about falsified documents with a case of he said-he said with his son's supposed kidnapping, I thought Dan was an awesome person with a will of steel. Erin started off dating Dan's son Kyle, another character I don't really like. She's a smart cookie! She doesn't even have to try to get men's attention; she just naturally projects a aura of intelligence and sincerity. I like her outspokenness and candor about the reality of her relationship with Kyle and the insight she provides to Dan about his son. I must say that both Dan and Erin had surprising HEAs. For one thing I felt blindsided by it and how it was an additional "twist" in the plotline. I absolutely did not see it coming.
In the end, this book got a rating of....
A graduate of Columbia College and Columbia Law School, Gordon Osmond is a retired Wall Street lawyer, a produced playwright, a published author, a weekly radio host, an online play and book critic, and a lecturer.
Osmond's plays have been professionally produced through out the Unites States, where they have received rave reviews and many awards including First Prize in the John Gassner Memorial Playwriting Competition sponsored by the New England Theatre Conference.
Slipping on Stardust is Osmond's debut novel. He is currently living with the love of his life and language in Brazil.